London conference sees ‘largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history’

London conference sees ‘largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history’

The International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression saw what the organisers described as the ‘largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history during 22-24 July 2017 in London. Over 70 notable speakers from 30 countries came together to honour dissenters to defend apostasy, blasphemy and secularism. The sold-out conference highlighted the voices of those on the front-lines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled – and included the first London film screening of Deeyah Khan’s film, Islam’s Non Believers, a public art protest of 99 balloons representing those killed or imprisoned for blasphemy and…

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

By Iram Ramzan This is a cross-post from Integration Hub   A much-awaited report which contains no big surprises received reactions that were entirely predictable. From segregation and misogyny, to the child grooming gangs and Sharia councils, Dame Louise Casey’s lengthy, evidence-based report pulls no punches. Towns and cities with high Muslim populations, such as Oldham, Rochdale, Blackburn and Bradford are mentioned as places of concern. Some of them are areas with large numbers of people who came from Pakistani-administered Kashmir, particularly the rural region of Mirpur. They came to the former…

An ex-Muslim’s brief recount of working with the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat

An ex-Muslim’s brief recount of working with the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat

By Zee Jay   August 2009. I finally touched down to the country that was regarded as providing opportunities for many. Here I was, ready to embark on exploring uncharted waters and break new mould. It was my desire to meet and interact with people and observe the British way of life. What I wasn’t expecting was to get drawn back into the web of Islam after already having left a strain of it when I left the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This was at the time I was still…

My issues with the Muslim Council of Britain’s alternative to the Prevent strategy

My issues with the Muslim Council of Britain’s alternative to the Prevent strategy

By Iram Ramzan   Critics of the Government’s counter-terrorism Prevent strategy often claim that it disproportionately targets and focuses on Muslims, despite the fact that it actually works on countering the far-right too. So what does the Muslim Council of Britain decide to do? It has decided to set up its own programme to target, er, Muslims. In a direct challenge to the government’s ‘controversial’ Prevent scheme, the MCB plans to start the Muslim-run counter-radicalisation scheme next year. The MCB said in a statement: In reflecting the wishes of a cross-section…

Secularism is not against Islam, it is against exploiting Islam

Secularism is not against Islam, it is against exploiting Islam

By Ghalia Edrees   At a time when the concept of secularism is viewed as a threat in the Middle East and anti-Muslim sentiment is high in the West, I have tried to keep an open mind on the issue of religion. The recent butchery of Muslims by violent Islamists and repressive authorities has, however, forced me to make a choice. I was born in England in 1981 but lived in Saudi Arabia until the age of 25.  In 2014 I moved to London to claim my UK nationality. I…

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

By Haydar Zaki   House-Muslim. Uncle Tom. These are just some of the terms thrown at me because, as a Muslim, I have a different political outlook to others. Fetishising over my physical appearance and religious identification, the groups that use these (frankly racist) terms so carelessly aim to portray me as one who has no agency, and is merely a slave or a “sell-out” to their community and cause. My abandonment of the tribal political mentality was the first step to warrant such a slanderous response. Many of us,…

The Dating Difficulties of an Ex Muslim

The Dating Difficulties of an Ex Muslim

By Aliyah Saleem Like millions of people around the world, I use online dating.   As a Pakistani woman with a Muslim name and a banging nose ring, I attract attention from some Muslim men.  Dating is hard in the best of circumstances but if you are an ex-Muslim, it’s downright depressing. A lot of us try and stay in the closet because of the taboo for as long as possible. It’s okay when you are single but the prospect of a serious relationships and having children puts ex-Muslims in…

Muslims: reform your religion

Muslims: reform your religion

By Saima Baig Orlando, Istanbul, Bangladesh and now one of the worst attacks in Iraq. The last few days of Ramzan have seen more bloodshed and less peace and love from the caretakers of Islam. Of course, we had widespread global condemnation, followed by the usual blame on western foreign policy by some, certain people fearing that this makes Islam look bad, and the overall placing of blame firmly on all Muslims by others. And most importantly, there was the complaint of why the attacks on Muslim countries did not…

We need a counter-narrative to the threat that is Islamism

We need a counter-narrative to the threat that is Islamism

By Ammar Anwer   Islamism is a serious threat to humanity. The harm that it has caused, and continues to cause, is indescribable, unspeakable and extremely horrendous. The most saddening aspect of this aching cruelty is that it has damaged the reputation of the entire Muslim community around the world Although its extremist tactics have affected the entire human community across the globe, but the ones who have also suffered are peaceful Muslims, who carry the pain of the entire humanity in their hearts; those who do not hate other fellow…

No more silence on the abuse of children

No more silence on the abuse of children

By Shazia Hobbs   Where is the hashtag in solidarity for the Pakistani and Kashmiri children being raped here in the UK? I say Pakistani and Kashmiri because they are not necessarily the same — not all Pakistanis are from Kashmir and child rape occurs in both communities. You only need to follow Pakistani journalists, the ones who are living in Pakistan, on social media to hear of the horrors involving child rape in that country. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that importing huge numbers of people…